West Virginia DUI Laws

West Virginia DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. The threshold is lower for minors and commercial drivers.
Written by Georgina Grant
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Dec 08, 2022
West Virginia DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and/or have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers cannot exceed 0.04%, and underage drivers cannot exceed 0.02%.
More than 10,000 people are killed in the U.S. each year due to drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime, and penalties will vary by state. Even for a first-time offense, drivers will shell out up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will definitely affect your
car insurance
rates as well.
That’s why the car insurance comparison and broker app
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What is a DUI?

refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. Each state determines the difference between these two charges, but West Virginia uses the term "DUI" in its state laws.
A DUI charge could mean that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if the drugs weren’t illegal—you can get a DUI charge from prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs if they make you impaired.
In some states, the charges are OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DUI in West Virginia

In West Virginia, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you are "under the influence" of drugs or alcohol. In this case, being "under the influence" means that you are incapable of operating a vehicle safely due to drugs or alcohol.
It is also illegal to operate a vehicle if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.04% or higher if you’re a commercial driver
  • 0.02% or higher if you’re under 21
West Virginia, like every state, has an implied consent law, which stipulates that drivers consent to be tested if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse, the DMV will
revoke your license
for at least one year.

Penalties for DUI in West Virginia

If you are convicted of a DUI in West Virginia, you will be required to complete an alcohol treatment program.
You will also pay a fine, temporarily lose your license, and potentially serve jail time, depending on your BAC level and the number of prior DUI offenses on your record.
DUI convictions in West Virginia remain on your record for 10 years.

First offense

$100 to $1,000
Up to 6 months
License suspension
6 months
SR-22 requirement
Penalties are lower for drivers under 21 with a BAC level below 0.08%.

Second offense

$1,000 to $3,000
6 months to 1 year
License suspension
10 years
SR-22 requirement

Subsequent offenses

A third or subsequent DUI conviction gets upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony.
$3,000 to $5,000
2 to 5 years
License suspension
SR-22 requirement
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in West Virginia?

Yes. Insurance companies take DUI convictions very seriously, and you’ll be classified as a
high-risk driver
going forward. This means that your auto insurance rates will increase.
It can be hard to find affordable insurance with a DUI on your record, so you’ll probably need to look at many different providers to find the right policy.
can quickly compare rates from up to 50 top insurers so that you don’t have to spend time completing online forms and dealing with sales calls.

Other effects of a DUI

Besides conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can impact your life in other ways.
License suspension: After getting a DUI, you will have your license revoked for at least 6 months. After a third offense, you could lose your license permanently.
Ignition interlock device (IID): These devices stop you from starting your car if you have any alcohol on your breath. If you are a first-time DUI offender in West Virginia, you can apply for the Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program, which allows the driver to use an IID for 120 to 270 days, in exchange for a shorter license suspension period.
Background checks: DUIs appear on background checks, which could hurt your job prospects in the future.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

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